Why You Should Have An Open Spouse Work Permit.

Why You Should Have An Open Spouse Work Permit – Did you know that the Canadian government can issue you a work permit that allows you to work anywhere in the country while you wait for a decision on your common law or spousal sponsorship application? Interesting, is not it?

This work permit is known as a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP). The SOWP primarily offers applicants who have applied for domestic sponsorship the opportunity to work while their immigration application is being processed.

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Benefits Of The Open Work Permit For Spouses

  1. Work in Canada while you wait.

The SOWP offers a spouse the opportunity to work in Canada while waiting for a decision on their immigration application. Typically, it takes 12 months for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process a spousal sponsorship application. With the SOWP, you can work in Canada during this time.

  1. You can work anywhere and skip the LMIA.

While closed work permits allow foreign nationals to work for a specific employer or in a specific occupation, the SOWP allows its holders to do any type of work for any employer in Canada.

In addition, employers who hire individuals with this permit are not required to conduct a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA is an application made to the Canadian government by prospective employers seeking to hire a foreign national if it is determined that hiring a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labor market.

The SOWP eliminates the need for this assessment.

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  1. You can live with your partner

Without the SOWP or another form of temporary status, spousal sponsorship applicants would have to complete the application outside of Canada. The SOWP gives spouses the opportunity to live together while they wait for a decision on their application.

  1. they gain valuable Canadian experience

We all know that Canadian experience leads to higher earnings. With the SOWP, you get a head start on gaining valuable experience before you receive your permanent residency. Staying in Canada allows you to network and make important contacts that can be critical to your career advancement.

Determining Your Eligibility For The Sowp

This domestic sponsorship is specifically for spouses or common-law partners living together in Canada. The foreign spouse must have temporary status in Canada as a student, visitor, or worker.

Applicants Must Meet The Following Requirements;

  1. They must have a permanent resident spouse or common-law partner in Canada who has submitted a sponsorship application on their behalf.
  2. They must have submitted a residency application under the spouse/domestic partner class.
  3. Applicants must have valid temporary resident status in Canada or an approved application for restoration of status with a work permit.
  4. Applicants must have a shared address with their spouse.
  5. Applicants must be criminally or medically eligible to enter Canada.

Important Points To Note;

  1. A SOWP is only valid as long as the “leading spouse” permit is valid. If your SOWP expires, you must resubmit your application based on your spouse’s permit.
  2. The SOWP application fee drops from $255 CAD to $155 CAD for the processing fee and $100 CAD for the open work permit holder fee.
  3. SOWP holders can work anywhere in Canada for any employer with limited restrictions.
  4. Dependents may also accompany the permit holder by applying for a visitor’s card.
  5. SOWP applicants should be able to prove that they have sufficient financial resources to stay in Canada. If an officer is not sure that an applicant can fully support himself/herself, this may result in a refusal.

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